Superior work by Altman in this episode, which he did not pen. An extraordinary amount of tension is developed along the way. From the initial scenes of the patrol skirting along a graveyard, where a group of nuns are interring a sister in a scene that could be from centuries before. A gust of wind and the papers of the French collaborator are dispersed, and then he is caught by a land mine. They take him to the convent and radio HQ for a surgeon. In an wonderful vignette, that anticipates the drollness of M*A*S*H*, the surgeon is seen in his tent, casually lancing blisters, while a superior officer tries to convey to him the need to save this Frenchman for the allied effort. Death lingers throughout this episode, from the initial funeral, to the expiration of the surgeon from a heart attack on the way to the convent, to the loss of Pvt. Temple despite a blood transfusion. A smug German surgeon is captured and brought in to operate on the Frenchman, with the help of one of the convent disciples who used to be a nurse. And the genius scene is in the chapel, the patient on the table, every candle in the convent brought in to provide light, while Temple (the name now takes on a meaning) lies dying below, and Altman slowly, in a measured build-up of force, cuts from face to face of each protagonist, in a show of meaningful pace frankly unimaginable in today's television landscape. It ends with another burial. Religiosity pervades Altman's work on this series. And it is most directly referenced in this episode.
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